Armed police patrol town centre in terror blast aftermath

Picture from Dave Green
Picture from Dave Green

Armed police have been patrolling Wigan town centre as the country remains on high alert following last night's terror attack in Manchester.

Officers with guns have been seen at various locations across the town including outside The Galleries Shopping Centre and Standishgate - Greater Manchester Police deployed its officers in response to the continued “severe” terrorist threat,

Police in the streets of Wigan with guns

Police in the streets of Wigan with guns

Wigan residents took to social media with reports of armed police following the suicide bomb attack at Manchester Arena, which left 23 people dead and 60 injured.

Teenagers and children were among the fatalities caused by the unnamed suicide bomber, who detonated the device outside the exit gates as people left an Ariana Grande concert.

Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Ian Hopkins, released a full statement yesterday “This is a fast-moving investigation and we have significant resources deployed to both the investigation and the visible patrols that people will see about Greater Manchester as they wake up to news of the event last night. This will include armed officers as people would expect.”

More than 400 officers across the region have been involved in the investigation since the initial reports were called in.

The armed police presence has invoked a mixed reaction for people living in or visiting the borough in the aftermath of the attack.

Carrie Rayner wrote: "Armed police are now in Wigan, I just want to go and get my kids from school and stay inside my house forever, scared is an understatement for what I'm feeling right now."

Kirsty Elizabeth added: "Now seeing there’s armed police in our little Wigan town. Although it’s frightening what tragic event happened last night I will not be in hiding.These terrorists are looking to frighten people and if we show we're frightened they are going to feel powerful."

Ronnie Hunter also commented: "Never thought I would see the day when armed police are on the streets in Wigan, so sad to see it."

The search still continues for a number of missing victims.

An appeal was sent out for 16-year-old Lucy Jarvis, from Wigan, who was amongst the missing but has since been found.